OTR’s Imagination Alley

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Hands down, one of my favorite spots in the basin — Imagination Alley between Vine and Republic Streets. Actually, according to this, the project is called Imagination Alley and the Imagine Peace and Unity Archway. Artist Suzanne Fisher worked with Memorial Community Center, Washington Park School, the Drop-In Center, St. Francis Seraph Art Club, Peaslee Neighborhood Center, and Lighthouse Community Services on the design and execution of this community art and civic design project.

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

It’s no secret that I’ve been looking at, and thinking about, a lot of mosaic public art projects lately, and I rather like these “sponsored content” bits that acknowledge the sponsors in the art. A similar tactic was used in the 16th Avenue Steps project I checked out in San Francisco a couple of months ago. I definitely prefer this over a brass plaque:

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

Imagination Alley in Over-the-Rhine

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13 thoughts on “OTR’s Imagination Alley

  1. This isn’t my favorite park or public art project ever. But, I have a real fondness for pocket parks, which I guess I developed when I lived in the North End in Boston — a pretty cramped neighborhood, where you’re never more than a couple of blocks from a bit of green refuge. That said, the brown walls really do nothing to complement the plantings or the mosaics. The park itself seems undermaintained and underused; it seems to be mostly used as a pass-through. Nonetheless, I love its intimate scale, the mosaics are really great.

  2. I always liked the symbolism of the arch at this park. Arches symbolize victory, so the little park is a triumph over the bleak neighborhood?
    That’s how I always interpreted it, but I have no idea if that was the intent.

  3. i love these little urban parks, especially when they’re embellished with art. this particular one seems a bit run down, but every inner city neighborhood can use this kind of respite.

  4. Pingback: A Wee Pocket Park in Over-the-Rhine « Visualingual

  5. wow, I didn’t realize this site existed, and I am happy that all the mosaics that have been created in OTR by members of the OTR community under my direction are so appreciated! The archway is indeed an arc of triumph, created after the 2001 riots after the death of Timothy Thomas. The property that the park is in is owned by Cincinnati Recreation, and was officially named Imagination Alley before I spotted it as a possible location for mosaics. Before we starting putting mosaics on the wall, it was just a sad little spot where drug dealers hung out, a cement slab and some dying grass between two buildings. I like the space because it was so small and I felt after doing the bench in Washington Park that I wanted a location for the mosaics where they would really stand out. Then, once the arch, designed by Greg Schmidt, was installed, it really framed the park, which I loved.

  6. Wow, Suzanne, thank you so much for sharing the back story of this project with us, and for filling in some of the details that I wasn’t able to find online. It’s a beautiful little green space, and the mosaics are very charming!

  7. Pingback: The British Garden at Hanover Square in Manhattan « Visualingual

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